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The false logic of slavery reparations Modern Americans should not pay for past crimes

Is modern Africa preferable to the modern United States? (Manny Ceneta/Getty Images)

Is modern Africa preferable to the modern United States? (Manny Ceneta/Getty Images)


May 25, 2023   5 mins

Has a route to reparations finally been revealed? Last week, Cori Bush, the Democratic Congressman from Missouri, along with a group of other progressive lawmakers, unveiled the “Reparations NOW” resolution, which hopes to pay out $14 trillion to black Americans. Its recommendations echoed those of California’s state-approved Slavery Reparations Task Force, which this month proposed that $1 million should be paid to each applicant.

What constitutes a successful application, however, is not so clear. In a court of law, to claim compensation, you must show that you have suffered harm and associate it with a certain amount of money. Is this criteria met? The slaves who were transported to America obviously suffered harm. But they are not the plaintiffs here. Rather, their descendants — along with people who are not their descendants but who belong to the same racial group — are the complainants. Is there a case that they have suffered harm as a result of historic enslavement?

The American legal system has a useful “but for” concept for the determination of harm. Under this framework, you are culpable for damage suffered by someone else if “but for” your action, they would have been fine. For example, “but for” you allowing your dog off his leash, he would not have chased a squirrel and run into traffic, causing a car to swerve and hit a lamp post. What happens if we apply this methodology to the descendants of slaves? “But for” the transportation of their ancestors to the Americas, what would their circumstances be? Well, perhaps most obviously, they would still be living in sub-Saharan Africa. Would that be preferable to living in modern America? Have they suffered harm because they now live instead as citizens in the US?

These are speculative questions, obviously. Still, we must note that today, vast numbers of people from all corners of the world embark on dangerous and desperate journeys in hopes of reaching the United States for the chance to live and work. We need only look to the southern border, where families cross swirling rivers and scale barbed-wire fences with babies in their arms because America offers them a better life. Or at the shocking images of young Afghans clinging to American planes lifting off from Kabul airport in a suicidally hopeless effort to escape their country.

None of this justifies past slavery, and in these examples, the dangerous travel is undertaken voluntarily. What it does illustrate, however, is that the descendants of the trafficked individuals find themselves in a country that millions around the world would give anything to reach. Even citizens of prosperous Western Europe sign up for the Green Card Lottery. To be here, equipped with full citizenship, is not a bad circumstance.

To complete our thought experiment: what would life be like for today’s African Americans if their ancestors had not been taken to the Americas? Today, the blunt truth is that Africa is a mess, politically, socially and economically. Bloody wars and coups, as well as tribal and ethnic genocides, recur with regularity. Hunger remains prevalent, with malnutrition serving as an underlying factor in almost half of deaths among children. An estimated 98 million in Sub-Saharan Africa are not in school, instead scrounging a living on the margins of the economy. Every fifth child is engaged in forced labour, often in exhausting and dangerous conditions in factories or mines.

Meanwhile, 25.6 million Africans have Aids, and a half-million die of malaria every year. Almost 600 million of the continent’s residents have no access to electricity, with South Africa only the latest country to declare a state emergency following a series of blackouts. Women face particular miseries: 19 of the 20 countries in the world with the highest maternal mortality rates are in Africa. According to the World Health Organization: “Gender inequity, poverty among women, weak economic capacity, sexual and gender-based violence including female genital mutilation (FGM) are major impediments to the amelioration of women’s health in Africa.”

And yet, according to those calculating the value of African-American losses traceable to slavery, the “ultimate goal of reparations should be to restore the black community to the economic position it would have had if it had not been subjected to slavery and discrimination”. The problem with that is, had it not been for slavery, that community would not be here at all, and their economic position on their continent of origin would likely be inferior. This is to assume that the removal of 338,000 of its inhabitants made little difference to Africa’s future. But even so, would life there be better than modern America?

Unable to address this question, one wing of the reparations lobby is proposing a “right-to-return-to-Africa” programme. This idea pre-dates the end of the Civil War, when it was championed both by abolitionists who thought it was the best way to undo the damage of the slave trade and, ironically, by die-hard Southerners who felt that a population of resentful emancipated slaves would be a social burden and should be encouraged to leave. Several state legislatures set aside funding for reverse colonies to be established in various African nations, but there were few takers. Such reluctance was wise, as almost half of the initial returnees soon perished from tropical diseases, principally malaria.

Moreover, the indigenous inhabitants and neighbours were less than welcoming of their returning brothers and sisters; indeed, they were distinctly hostile. Perhaps the most lasting of these experiments was Liberia, whose name derived from the Latin word liber, meaning free. There, the return-migrants managed to achieve dominance for a time, but in 1980, they were toppled. Since then, chaos has reigned, and at least a quarter of a million people have been killed in the bloody process.

Here, it is noteworthy that contemporary anti-racist activists, including Frederick Douglass, himself a former slave, vehemently opposed the concept of repatriation. “We live here — have lived here — have a right to live here, and mean to live here,” Douglass stated categorically. Perhaps he could have added: and we mean to leave trauma behind us and live well. For let’s not forget: many African Americans have done just that. The African-American middle class is almost exactly the same size proportionally as their white counterpart. It’s a huge disservice to them, and to the country, to portray this part of our population as failed social and mental wrecks requiring therapeutic cash.

This is not to say that the situation is hopeless or that the descendants of slaves just need to get a grip. Although some have attained wealth and many have entered the middle class, there clearly is a large segment that has suffered from little upward mobility. But apologies and one-time windfalls won’t help; this requires frank and serious analysis, actual plans and study of other models.

A good place to start would be a review of the strategies of other minorities, such as Asian Americans, and their uncomfortable decision to live in cramped multi-generation units that allowed them to afford housing in middle-class neighbourhoods with better schools and a safer environment. Or one could study models such as that of Singapore, where a multi-ethnic population of hostile communities mired in unemployment, poverty and mutual dislike was forged into a prosperous nation within just a few decades. It means looking at the military, where young men from minority backgrounds thrive and rise in the ranks — America’s most senior two leaders are currently African-American generals.

Calls for reparations may attract headlines, but that doesn’t mean they will succeed. Though dangling the chance of a lottery win may be a clever vote-winning trick for unscrupulous politicians, that doesn’t make it good politics.


Cheryl Benard is an academic and an author.

 


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Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago

The arguments for reparations rest wholly on guilt, and cynically seek to exploit that guilt for financial gain.
Organisations like BLM and race-hucksters such as Ibram X Kendi, Robin Di Angelo and depressingly many others who are calling for reparations, feed into a culture of guilt among whites, and victimhood among the black community.
Rather than empowering those it claims to champion, it enfeebles them. It is frankly demeaning to suggest black people are perpetual victims of systemic white racism. It removes the idea that any Person of Colour has agency. It absolves such “victims” of the need to take responsibility for their actions, their choices and their future. Such infantilisation of an entire racial community has been the principle behind much that has held them back.
For all the undoubted evils of the transatlantic slave trade, and slavery down through the millennia, there is no moral case for reparations to anyone other than those who directly suffered it. No such person is alive today.
And why are the calls for reparations in the US only for African-Americans? There is plenty of evidence that ethnic Chinese slaves were treated worse than their African counterparts. Yet no one appears to be calling for reparations to Chinese-Americans – a group that now comfortably out-earns white Americans. A CLM movement would almost certainly be met with hostility from BLM supporters. It is because it has never been about achieving equality, it is down to the huge – and very lucrative – industry built up around grievance culture.
Even if you could get past the principle involved – which I would suggest you cannot – how would you administer such reparations? You cannot argue the principle as though it was merely a debating point, such a policy would require real-world application. If you somehow managed to win that argument you’d need to explain how reparations would be allotted.
No one can sensibly answer these basic questions:
Who do you imagine should pay these reparations – and to whom?
How should the monies be apportioned fairly?
If you’re mixed race, should you only receive half the money? – or as a sliding scale based on what proportion of your ancestry suffered under slavery?
Just as a quick aside, whilst investigating someone’s family tree to work out what they are “owed”, does one have to take note of those who are descended from Slavers as well as Slaves? Should the descendants of African slavers be receiving money? By what right?
Or say you are descended from a long line of Navy men. The Royal Navy policed the oceans of the world to stop the Slave Trade. Once the British had outlawed the practice in the territories under their control, they set about dismantling the slave trade globally – and expended men and treasure to bring that about.
Should you, as a descendant of those who fought to end slavery, be on the hook for reparations? Should the monies you pay in taxes go, in part, as payments to those whose African forebears might have profited from the slave trade?
But such logistical quibbles, although insurmountable, are moot.
The real questions remain – by what right should the 4th, 5th or 6th generation descendants of those who have suffered injustice claim reparation for that injustice? Would such a move help heal divisions or exacerbate them?
Rather than cast about for answers to historical injustice, why not actually do something to help the real problem – Poverty.
That is not a race issue – much as BLM would like to pretend it is. There are better statistics for US society than here in the UK, but the point is the same – the number of white Americans living below the poverty line in 2018 was, at 15.8 million, considerably higher than the number of blacks in poverty – 8.9 million. Of course the proportion of black people in poverty is higher, given the relative sizes of both communities, but surely anyone who wishes to look objectively at the numbers can see that they utterly explode the divisive narrative myth of “white privilege” on which much of this argument is predicated.
Thomas Sowell has been making these points for many years, now into his 90’s, and with race grifters in the ascendency, his voice is needed more than ever. Thankfully there are other intellectuals taking up the challenge – Coleman Hughes particularly impresses me. Still in his 20s he cannot yet speak with the authority of Thomas Sowell, but he is a very honest and nuanced thinker. All too rare in these debates. The matter of someone’s colour should not add a jot to what they say – but we know it does. So it is crucial that we have young black thinkers able to articulate an argument that would not receive the same hearing if it was spoken by a young white man. Coleman Hughes may well fill Sowell’s shoes in time.
But in this country, when a Labour manifesto calls for “an audit of the impact of Britain’s colonial legacy to understand our contribution to the dynamics of violence and insecurity across regions previously under British colonial rule”, rather than dismiss such a thing, perhaps the Conservatives should embrace it and expand on it to contextualise the real history of it.
The transatlantic slave trade did not exist in a vacuum. Slavery had been a ubiquitous fact of life since the very earliest human societies of which we have record. As the race-obsessives of the left are always keen to tell us, Africa is the cradle of civilisation. Though they seem less keen to admit that that civilisation – as with every other historical civilisation – was built by slaves. For the comparatively brief period that Europeans and Americans were involved in the Slave trade, they were mere amateurs in comparison to Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Slavery was an abomination. It is as close to a moral absolute as one can get that it is wrong for one human being to “own” another – but it is unjust, and arguably racist, to hold one race more accountable for that abomination than another. Even the small number of white europeans involved in the trade of slaves were not running into the African interior to capture slaves – those poor souls had already been enslaved by their fellow Africans and were sitting caged and shackled on the beaches awaiting transport.
No one should ever try and excuse the slave trade, but they should, if they’re honest, set it in historical context and perspective. Why uniquely condemn the British and Americans when – as a simple matter of fact – they were involved in a hideous practice that had been going on in every part of the world for thousands of years?
The only unique position that Britain holds in the history of slavery is that in 1807, Britain was one of the first countries on earth to abolish the slave trade, not merely on her own shores, but across the Empire, and then policed the seas to end the trade worldwide. Indeed the C19th costs of suppressing the slave trade dwarfed the C18th profits. Britain spent more on enforcing the abolition than was ever made from the trade.Teach that and you might lessen the sense of grievance that has been inculcated by the partisan and partial teaching of history.
And tackle the real issue, Poverty, rather than cast around for excuses and scapegoats to blame and hold responsible.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paddy Taylor
Paul Rodolf
Paul Rodolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Rodolf
Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

The only thing I could add is that plenty of ‘Whites’ have been enslaved through the ages. The word “Slave” itself originated from the enslavement of Slavic people by Muslim raiders, some of whom traveled as far as Iceland to catch new merchandise. And there is evidence that in parts of Great Britain white people whom we would call “homeless” today were rounded up and shipped to America — as lifelong slaves.

Keith Payne
Keith Payne
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

I believe the Muslim raiders were mainly along the coast of west Europe, it was the Viking Rus who traded in slaves along the large rivers that ran down towards the Black Sea and the Slavic people were from those slaves along with cross Mediterranean slavery. The later continued into the Medieval period making southern European cities like Venice extremely wealthy. South western cities grew wealthy on West African slave prior to the trans Atlantic trade. ‘The Silk Roads’ by Peter Frankopan is a good source of information.

Keith Payne
Keith Payne
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

I believe the Muslim raiders were mainly along the coast of west Europe, it was the Viking Rus who traded in slaves along the large rivers that ran down towards the Black Sea and the Slavic people were from those slaves along with cross Mediterranean slavery. The later continued into the Medieval period making southern European cities like Venice extremely wealthy. South western cities grew wealthy on West African slave prior to the trans Atlantic trade. ‘The Silk Roads’ by Peter Frankopan is a good source of information.

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Sure take all the benefits but none of the guilt.
Our forbearers used slaves to get a leg up but so what !

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark M Breza

So, I guess you didn’t read what I wrote then.

Or, if you did, you didn’t understand

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark M Breza

So, I guess you didn’t read what I wrote then.

Or, if you did, you didn’t understand

Barry Stokes
Barry Stokes
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Excellent post.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Don’t forget Paddy, that St. Patrick himself was a slave.

Kenda Grant
Kenda Grant
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Thank you for such a well written response to an excellent article. Those who question or disagree with the current narrative (whether its race, gender, covid, climate) are silenced, usually through ad hominem attacks rather than rebuttal of their argument. It’s become so easy to blame “whites” for practically everything while forgetting the benefits of living in these very societies. So far if feels as if the “virtuous bullies” are winning – through capture of the media, academics, politics, etc. Enough guilt. Speaking up and refusing to be silenced is the only way to go.

C Ross
C Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

“No one should ever try and excuse the slave trade, but they should, if they’re honest, set it in historical context and perspective. Why uniquely condemn the British and Americans when – as a simple matter of fact – they were involved in a hideous practice that had been going on in every part of the world for thousands of years?”

Taken out of context, that last sentence can get you in a great deal of trouble, ala tu quoque.

Historical crimes like African slavery are obviously tricky. Everyone was at it, but that does not excuse. Whites today did not commit the crimes of their ancestors, but this does not fully absolve.
Some residual sense of responsibility follows and prevents us from merely shrugging our shoulders and moving on blithley.

Nor, on the other hand, does crassly and corruptly paying out cash ala the California proposals absolve and wash away white “guilt” either (as if a type of post factum medieval indulgence).

In short, the sins of our fathers, on this and many other issues, don’t impute guilt in the full sense of the word. But they do impute some sort of responsibility to sincerely recognise to our fellow citizens that wrong doing has been done and that something has and is being done about it that is just to both parties. Getting that last bit right prudently, is agonisingly difficult, and precludes any easy fixes.

An instructive analogous debate, that came to mind writing this, arises in theological debates over the alleged “first sin”, and whether collective guilt, responsibility or neither follows today (Kalistos Ware’s writings on this are thought provoking, IMHO).

Mara
Mara
1 year ago
Reply to  C Ross

Something was done about this in America. It was called the Civil War, the bloodiest war in our nation’s history, which claimed the lives of 620,000 people. Sadly, this seems to always be forgotten. I am the descendent of four Union Army soldiers (the army on the side fighting to abolish slavery), so if I actually believed I needed saving from the “sins of our fathers,” then I think the fact that my ancestors put their lives on the line to end slavery should wipe the slate for me and my family. Personally, I don’t believe anyone should feel guilty or be punished over things their ancestors did, any more than a child alive today deserves to feel guilty or be punished for a felony their parent committed. No one chooses their skin color or the life they’re born into. As long as you treat people with kindness and respect, as I work my best to do every day, even when it feels hard, why should you feel badly? What is to be gained from self-deprication? America has come such a long way in its short life in terms of human rights compared to other societies. I wish our institutions could spend even a fraction of the time reflecting on this that they do promoting resentment for our country and towards each other.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mara
Mara
Mara
1 year ago
Reply to  C Ross

Something was done about this in America. It was called the Civil War, the bloodiest war in our nation’s history, which claimed the lives of 620,000 people. Sadly, this seems to always be forgotten. I am the descendent of four Union Army soldiers (the army on the side fighting to abolish slavery), so if I actually believed I needed saving from the “sins of our fathers,” then I think the fact that my ancestors put their lives on the line to end slavery should wipe the slate for me and my family. Personally, I don’t believe anyone should feel guilty or be punished over things their ancestors did, any more than a child alive today deserves to feel guilty or be punished for a felony their parent committed. No one chooses their skin color or the life they’re born into. As long as you treat people with kindness and respect, as I work my best to do every day, even when it feels hard, why should you feel badly? What is to be gained from self-deprication? America has come such a long way in its short life in terms of human rights compared to other societies. I wish our institutions could spend even a fraction of the time reflecting on this that they do promoting resentment for our country and towards each other.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mara
Alan Kaufman
Alan Kaufman
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

You take it all too seriously to dedicate so much space to a frivolous, irrational concept.

Paul Rodolf
Paul Rodolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Rodolf
Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

The only thing I could add is that plenty of ‘Whites’ have been enslaved through the ages. The word “Slave” itself originated from the enslavement of Slavic people by Muslim raiders, some of whom traveled as far as Iceland to catch new merchandise. And there is evidence that in parts of Great Britain white people whom we would call “homeless” today were rounded up and shipped to America — as lifelong slaves.

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Sure take all the benefits but none of the guilt.
Our forbearers used slaves to get a leg up but so what !

Barry Stokes
Barry Stokes
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Excellent post.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Don’t forget Paddy, that St. Patrick himself was a slave.

Kenda Grant
Kenda Grant
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Thank you for such a well written response to an excellent article. Those who question or disagree with the current narrative (whether its race, gender, covid, climate) are silenced, usually through ad hominem attacks rather than rebuttal of their argument. It’s become so easy to blame “whites” for practically everything while forgetting the benefits of living in these very societies. So far if feels as if the “virtuous bullies” are winning – through capture of the media, academics, politics, etc. Enough guilt. Speaking up and refusing to be silenced is the only way to go.

C Ross
C Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

“No one should ever try and excuse the slave trade, but they should, if they’re honest, set it in historical context and perspective. Why uniquely condemn the British and Americans when – as a simple matter of fact – they were involved in a hideous practice that had been going on in every part of the world for thousands of years?”

Taken out of context, that last sentence can get you in a great deal of trouble, ala tu quoque.

Historical crimes like African slavery are obviously tricky. Everyone was at it, but that does not excuse. Whites today did not commit the crimes of their ancestors, but this does not fully absolve.
Some residual sense of responsibility follows and prevents us from merely shrugging our shoulders and moving on blithley.

Nor, on the other hand, does crassly and corruptly paying out cash ala the California proposals absolve and wash away white “guilt” either (as if a type of post factum medieval indulgence).

In short, the sins of our fathers, on this and many other issues, don’t impute guilt in the full sense of the word. But they do impute some sort of responsibility to sincerely recognise to our fellow citizens that wrong doing has been done and that something has and is being done about it that is just to both parties. Getting that last bit right prudently, is agonisingly difficult, and precludes any easy fixes.

An instructive analogous debate, that came to mind writing this, arises in theological debates over the alleged “first sin”, and whether collective guilt, responsibility or neither follows today (Kalistos Ware’s writings on this are thought provoking, IMHO).

Alan Kaufman
Alan Kaufman
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

You take it all too seriously to dedicate so much space to a frivolous, irrational concept.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago

The arguments for reparations rest wholly on guilt, and cynically seek to exploit that guilt for financial gain.
Organisations like BLM and race-hucksters such as Ibram X Kendi, Robin Di Angelo and depressingly many others who are calling for reparations, feed into a culture of guilt among whites, and victimhood among the black community.
Rather than empowering those it claims to champion, it enfeebles them. It is frankly demeaning to suggest black people are perpetual victims of systemic white racism. It removes the idea that any Person of Colour has agency. It absolves such “victims” of the need to take responsibility for their actions, their choices and their future. Such infantilisation of an entire racial community has been the principle behind much that has held them back.
For all the undoubted evils of the transatlantic slave trade, and slavery down through the millennia, there is no moral case for reparations to anyone other than those who directly suffered it. No such person is alive today.
And why are the calls for reparations in the US only for African-Americans? There is plenty of evidence that ethnic Chinese slaves were treated worse than their African counterparts. Yet no one appears to be calling for reparations to Chinese-Americans – a group that now comfortably out-earns white Americans. A CLM movement would almost certainly be met with hostility from BLM supporters. It is because it has never been about achieving equality, it is down to the huge – and very lucrative – industry built up around grievance culture.
Even if you could get past the principle involved – which I would suggest you cannot – how would you administer such reparations? You cannot argue the principle as though it was merely a debating point, such a policy would require real-world application. If you somehow managed to win that argument you’d need to explain how reparations would be allotted.
No one can sensibly answer these basic questions:
Who do you imagine should pay these reparations – and to whom?
How should the monies be apportioned fairly?
If you’re mixed race, should you only receive half the money? – or as a sliding scale based on what proportion of your ancestry suffered under slavery?
Just as a quick aside, whilst investigating someone’s family tree to work out what they are “owed”, does one have to take note of those who are descended from Slavers as well as Slaves? Should the descendants of African slavers be receiving money? By what right?
Or say you are descended from a long line of Navy men. The Royal Navy policed the oceans of the world to stop the Slave Trade. Once the British had outlawed the practice in the territories under their control, they set about dismantling the slave trade globally – and expended men and treasure to bring that about.
Should you, as a descendant of those who fought to end slavery, be on the hook for reparations? Should the monies you pay in taxes go, in part, as payments to those whose African forebears might have profited from the slave trade?
But such logistical quibbles, although insurmountable, are moot.
The real questions remain – by what right should the 4th, 5th or 6th generation descendants of those who have suffered injustice claim reparation for that injustice? Would such a move help heal divisions or exacerbate them?
Rather than cast about for answers to historical injustice, why not actually do something to help the real problem – Poverty.
That is not a race issue – much as BLM would like to pretend it is. There are better statistics for US society than here in the UK, but the point is the same – the number of white Americans living below the poverty line in 2018 was, at 15.8 million, considerably higher than the number of blacks in poverty – 8.9 million. Of course the proportion of black people in poverty is higher, given the relative sizes of both communities, but surely anyone who wishes to look objectively at the numbers can see that they utterly explode the divisive narrative myth of “white privilege” on which much of this argument is predicated.
Thomas Sowell has been making these points for many years, now into his 90’s, and with race grifters in the ascendency, his voice is needed more than ever. Thankfully there are other intellectuals taking up the challenge – Coleman Hughes particularly impresses me. Still in his 20s he cannot yet speak with the authority of Thomas Sowell, but he is a very honest and nuanced thinker. All too rare in these debates. The matter of someone’s colour should not add a jot to what they say – but we know it does. So it is crucial that we have young black thinkers able to articulate an argument that would not receive the same hearing if it was spoken by a young white man. Coleman Hughes may well fill Sowell’s shoes in time.
But in this country, when a Labour manifesto calls for “an audit of the impact of Britain’s colonial legacy to understand our contribution to the dynamics of violence and insecurity across regions previously under British colonial rule”, rather than dismiss such a thing, perhaps the Conservatives should embrace it and expand on it to contextualise the real history of it.
The transatlantic slave trade did not exist in a vacuum. Slavery had been a ubiquitous fact of life since the very earliest human societies of which we have record. As the race-obsessives of the left are always keen to tell us, Africa is the cradle of civilisation. Though they seem less keen to admit that that civilisation – as with every other historical civilisation – was built by slaves. For the comparatively brief period that Europeans and Americans were involved in the Slave trade, they were mere amateurs in comparison to Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Slavery was an abomination. It is as close to a moral absolute as one can get that it is wrong for one human being to “own” another – but it is unjust, and arguably racist, to hold one race more accountable for that abomination than another. Even the small number of white europeans involved in the trade of slaves were not running into the African interior to capture slaves – those poor souls had already been enslaved by their fellow Africans and were sitting caged and shackled on the beaches awaiting transport.
No one should ever try and excuse the slave trade, but they should, if they’re honest, set it in historical context and perspective. Why uniquely condemn the British and Americans when – as a simple matter of fact – they were involved in a hideous practice that had been going on in every part of the world for thousands of years?
The only unique position that Britain holds in the history of slavery is that in 1807, Britain was one of the first countries on earth to abolish the slave trade, not merely on her own shores, but across the Empire, and then policed the seas to end the trade worldwide. Indeed the C19th costs of suppressing the slave trade dwarfed the C18th profits. Britain spent more on enforcing the abolition than was ever made from the trade.Teach that and you might lessen the sense of grievance that has been inculcated by the partisan and partial teaching of history.
And tackle the real issue, Poverty, rather than cast around for excuses and scapegoats to blame and hold responsible.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paddy Taylor
Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
1 year ago

A grift, like so much of progressivism.

Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
1 year ago

A grift, like so much of progressivism.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

From what I learned during my time studying at an American college, US politics is riddled with politicians that were taught Critical Legal Theory during their time at college or law school. CLT is the belief that the existing justice system is rigged against colored people and therefore must be dismantled in order to favor black people. For instance, if a white person and a black person commit the same crime, factors like ‘privilege’, ‘skin color’ and ‘poverty’ must be considered when making a verdict.
It is deeply unfair and un-Christian. Indeed, the Old Testament is very clear in judges not showing favoritism to either the rich or the poor. For judicial systems to work, the law must be universally applied regardless of defendants’ background or level of wealth. Of course, this doesn’t always happen, but to purposefully skew the justice system to accommodate one group of people will result in a huge drop in faith in said justice system. Once that happens the law system becomes politicized and people start to take the law into their own hands. We are already seeing the beginnings of this in the US where the two big political parties are weaponizing the justice system in order to bring down political opponents i.e. engaging in lawfare.
Concepts of social justice, reparations, and systemic racism have been brought into politics by college graduates. I think like academia, politics is made up of people who are fearful of the critical theorists in their midst and therefore capitulate to every demand these people make. Critical theory is a political tool that critiques existing institutions into irrelevance and then replaces them with a system that serves critical theorists’ ends. It makes sense that this is happening in the US. Many Americans equate personal worth with net worth. Critical theorists aren’t really in it to improve the system, but to enrich themselves while appearing to do ‘good’, which is why they target successful groups and individuals. CT is an academic theory designed to elevate the self while bringing down others.

Last edited 1 year ago by Julian Farrows
Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

“If you’ve always believed everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would’ve gotten you labeled a radical 50 years ago, a liberal 25 years ago and a racist today.”
― Thomas Sowell
(Edit: I should add that he wrote that 25 years ago – if anyone thought the timeframes were a bit off)

Last edited 1 year ago by Paddy Taylor
Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

“Race you to the apple tree little bro”.
“No you always win”.
“Thems are the rules”.
“Well change them or there is no race”.

Apo State
Apo State
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Thomas Sowell was creating the absolute best “memes” before anyone knew what they were. I love his quote to the effect that diversity is all well and good until you try to hire a conservative in the sociology department.

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

“Race you to the apple tree little bro”.
“No you always win”.
“Thems are the rules”.
“Well change them or there is no race”.

Apo State
Apo State
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Thomas Sowell was creating the absolute best “memes” before anyone knew what they were. I love his quote to the effect that diversity is all well and good until you try to hire a conservative in the sociology department.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

CT is the definition of ‘insanity’ – but let them have at it…thank God there are so many others with their heads screwed on the right way.

Apo State
Apo State
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

“ 
if a white person and a black person commit the same crime, factors like ‘privilege’, ‘skin color’ and ‘poverty’ must be considered when making a verdict.” Julian, that’s exactly what is happening now in Canada, where this (called IRCA) is now the law!
https://thepostmillennial.com/canadian-judges-use-race-as-a-reason-to-reduce-criminal-sentences-though-a-defendant-claims-he-used-it-to-exploit-the-system
More and more I feel like I can’t go home, because it’s no longer the country in which I grew up. It’s heartbreaking.

Kenda Grant
Kenda Grant
1 year ago
Reply to  Apo State

Thanks for the link. What I find interesting is ever person I talk to is concerned and questioning but feels silenced. I’m talking random people on the street and waiters, people I haven’t seen in a long time. It could be a coincidence they all are speaking out against woke ideology, CRT, covid crimes, etc. but even people who didn’t want to talk about any of this (especially relatives who didn’t want to know) are starting to come ask questions and standing up to the woke bullies.

Kenda Grant
Kenda Grant
1 year ago
Reply to  Apo State

Thanks for the link. What I find interesting is ever person I talk to is concerned and questioning but feels silenced. I’m talking random people on the street and waiters, people I haven’t seen in a long time. It could be a coincidence they all are speaking out against woke ideology, CRT, covid crimes, etc. but even people who didn’t want to talk about any of this (especially relatives who didn’t want to know) are starting to come ask questions and standing up to the woke bullies.

jack levy
jack levy
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Julian, you write it much more eloquently than I — these theorists simply work to intellectualize a hustle, and to extract the wealth from those who have it. They go where the money is, which is why they focus on white “racism.” They could care less about poor black communities until they need their buy-in.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

“If you’ve always believed everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would’ve gotten you labeled a radical 50 years ago, a liberal 25 years ago and a racist today.”
― Thomas Sowell
(Edit: I should add that he wrote that 25 years ago – if anyone thought the timeframes were a bit off)

Last edited 1 year ago by Paddy Taylor
Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

CT is the definition of ‘insanity’ – but let them have at it…thank God there are so many others with their heads screwed on the right way.

Apo State
Apo State
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

“ 
if a white person and a black person commit the same crime, factors like ‘privilege’, ‘skin color’ and ‘poverty’ must be considered when making a verdict.” Julian, that’s exactly what is happening now in Canada, where this (called IRCA) is now the law!
https://thepostmillennial.com/canadian-judges-use-race-as-a-reason-to-reduce-criminal-sentences-though-a-defendant-claims-he-used-it-to-exploit-the-system
More and more I feel like I can’t go home, because it’s no longer the country in which I grew up. It’s heartbreaking.

jack levy
jack levy
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Julian, you write it much more eloquently than I — these theorists simply work to intellectualize a hustle, and to extract the wealth from those who have it. They go where the money is, which is why they focus on white “racism.” They could care less about poor black communities until they need their buy-in.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

From what I learned during my time studying at an American college, US politics is riddled with politicians that were taught Critical Legal Theory during their time at college or law school. CLT is the belief that the existing justice system is rigged against colored people and therefore must be dismantled in order to favor black people. For instance, if a white person and a black person commit the same crime, factors like ‘privilege’, ‘skin color’ and ‘poverty’ must be considered when making a verdict.
It is deeply unfair and un-Christian. Indeed, the Old Testament is very clear in judges not showing favoritism to either the rich or the poor. For judicial systems to work, the law must be universally applied regardless of defendants’ background or level of wealth. Of course, this doesn’t always happen, but to purposefully skew the justice system to accommodate one group of people will result in a huge drop in faith in said justice system. Once that happens the law system becomes politicized and people start to take the law into their own hands. We are already seeing the beginnings of this in the US where the two big political parties are weaponizing the justice system in order to bring down political opponents i.e. engaging in lawfare.
Concepts of social justice, reparations, and systemic racism have been brought into politics by college graduates. I think like academia, politics is made up of people who are fearful of the critical theorists in their midst and therefore capitulate to every demand these people make. Critical theory is a political tool that critiques existing institutions into irrelevance and then replaces them with a system that serves critical theorists’ ends. It makes sense that this is happening in the US. Many Americans equate personal worth with net worth. Critical theorists aren’t really in it to improve the system, but to enrich themselves while appearing to do ‘good’, which is why they target successful groups and individuals. CT is an academic theory designed to elevate the self while bringing down others.

Last edited 1 year ago by Julian Farrows
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

Reparations won’t solve the racial divide in America, or what’s left of it anyway. We can acknowledge that black people suffered racism well after the end of slavery, and probably to some degree even today, but handing people a cheque won’t solve any problems. To truly help people, you need to give them a hand up, not a handout. This whole movement is spearheaded by a grievance and outrage industry, which profits from division. This won’t change. They will be demanding more. Their grievances won’t go away. It will create an entire new industry though – of grifters, lawyers and sleaze balls dedicated to digging their claws into the cash.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Working in the charity sector has become a career path.

While those who work are worthy of their hire, this seems wrong.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Working in the charity sector has become a career path.

While those who work are worthy of their hire, this seems wrong.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

Reparations won’t solve the racial divide in America, or what’s left of it anyway. We can acknowledge that black people suffered racism well after the end of slavery, and probably to some degree even today, but handing people a cheque won’t solve any problems. To truly help people, you need to give them a hand up, not a handout. This whole movement is spearheaded by a grievance and outrage industry, which profits from division. This won’t change. They will be demanding more. Their grievances won’t go away. It will create an entire new industry though – of grifters, lawyers and sleaze balls dedicated to digging their claws into the cash.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
1 year ago

“The slaves who were transported to America obviously suffered harm.” Yes, but did they suffer injustice? There is a deep and interesting irony here.
We have this idea that slaves were free peasants who were captured in slaving raids and forced into slavery. That definitely happened and is obviously horrible and wrong.
But in fact most slaves (* see note below) were not enslaved in slaving raids; they became slaves either as a result of military conquest or (and here’s the ironic bit) they were sentenced to slavery as punishment for crimes (including things we would not consider crimes today of course). That is to say, Africans who enslaved their fellow Africans often viewed themselves as acting in service of justice!
* Note: needless to say, pre-literate Africa kept very poor records documenting the ‘reasons’ for enslavement. But when Europeans in the 19th century began to investigate the source of the slaves they were buying on the coast, they concluded that while some were kidnapped, most were the result of military conquest or punishment. One of the reasons why the Victorians decided to intervene in Africa was because they realized that capturing slaves had become a cause rather than a result of Africans’ tribal warfare. They put English lives at risk in Africa to stop Africans from initiating military action as a pretext for slaving. (Of course the Victorians had less noble reasons, too.)

Last edited 1 year ago by Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
1 year ago

“The slaves who were transported to America obviously suffered harm.” Yes, but did they suffer injustice? There is a deep and interesting irony here.
We have this idea that slaves were free peasants who were captured in slaving raids and forced into slavery. That definitely happened and is obviously horrible and wrong.
But in fact most slaves (* see note below) were not enslaved in slaving raids; they became slaves either as a result of military conquest or (and here’s the ironic bit) they were sentenced to slavery as punishment for crimes (including things we would not consider crimes today of course). That is to say, Africans who enslaved their fellow Africans often viewed themselves as acting in service of justice!
* Note: needless to say, pre-literate Africa kept very poor records documenting the ‘reasons’ for enslavement. But when Europeans in the 19th century began to investigate the source of the slaves they were buying on the coast, they concluded that while some were kidnapped, most were the result of military conquest or punishment. One of the reasons why the Victorians decided to intervene in Africa was because they realized that capturing slaves had become a cause rather than a result of Africans’ tribal warfare. They put English lives at risk in Africa to stop Africans from initiating military action as a pretext for slaving. (Of course the Victorians had less noble reasons, too.)

Last edited 1 year ago by Kirk Susong
Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago

It’s in the British context but this chap has some interesting facts relating to the “but for” question.

https://youtu.be/Zr0wMmbVk5Q

Progressives never cease to amaze in their rabid pursuit of the utterly irrational.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

So maybe we should start describing them as “Regressives”. Far more fitting.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

So maybe we should start describing them as “Regressives”. Far more fitting.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago

It’s in the British context but this chap has some interesting facts relating to the “but for” question.

https://youtu.be/Zr0wMmbVk5Q

Progressives never cease to amaze in their rabid pursuit of the utterly irrational.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
1 year ago

Slavery was virtually ubiquitous before industrialisation. We do without human muscle-power because human ingenuity has harnessed the power in coal, oil, and uranium. America’s gigantic role in industrialising its own and other nations’ economies means that it owes nobody anything in this respect.

Last edited 1 year ago by Simon Neale
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

Please don’t let facts get in the way of a good grift! Party pooper.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

Please don’t let facts get in the way of a good grift! Party pooper.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
1 year ago

Slavery was virtually ubiquitous before industrialisation. We do without human muscle-power because human ingenuity has harnessed the power in coal, oil, and uranium. America’s gigantic role in industrialising its own and other nations’ economies means that it owes nobody anything in this respect.

Last edited 1 year ago by Simon Neale
Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
1 year ago

Then there’s the problem of what to do with mixed race people? Should a quantum of reparations be paid according to ‘how much’ slave heritage one has, do we go back to quadroons and octoroons?

In Australia we’re facing a referendum to change the Constitution to recognise Aboriginal people as distinct from the rest, as the start to going down a path to treaties, reparations etc. Which will be difficult in a very multicultural country. Without a need for constitutional demarcation, the states and federal government all have long established Departments of Aboriginal Affairs, which spend a lot of money on specifically Aboriginal people – trying to raise up the most disadvantaged. This seems a better way to go.

Peter D
Peter D
1 year ago

Russ mate, you’ve got Buckley’s of making the Aboriginal elite happy. They are out for blood, have no conscious, and don’t give a stuff about the average Aboriginal

They make the Nazis look second rate on the hate scale. If the had the numbers and weapons, all white Australians would be running for their lives and the average Aboriginals would be dismayed to lose friends and partners.

Peter Rechniewski
Peter Rechniewski
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter D

That is just nonsense.

Peter D
Peter D
1 year ago

The Aborigines are relentless in their vilification of white people. There are constant snide remarks in all forms of media. Our kids are constantly told how bad Europeans are. Primary school kids are told that Europeans raped and poisoned Aborigines

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter D

And that emerges from nothing, in a social and historical vacuum? You are vilifying or dismissing Aboriginal people as a group as you make your case for their bigotry.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I am so distressed that an all-powerful and evil cabal of rich Aboriginals has begun routinely making snide remarks about white people. That is just unconscionable. The next thing you know, they’ll be taking white children and putting them into boarding schools…

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Nona Yubiz

Well-quipped! “Non-whites simply can’t understand the oppression and prejudice we face…”

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Nona Yubiz

Well-quipped! “Non-whites simply can’t understand the oppression and prejudice we face…”

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I am so distressed that an all-powerful and evil cabal of rich Aboriginals has begun routinely making snide remarks about white people. That is just unconscionable. The next thing you know, they’ll be taking white children and putting them into boarding schools…

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter D

And that emerges from nothing, in a social and historical vacuum? You are vilifying or dismissing Aboriginal people as a group as you make your case for their bigotry.

Peter D
Peter D
1 year ago

The Aborigines are relentless in their vilification of white people. There are constant snide remarks in all forms of media. Our kids are constantly told how bad Europeans are. Primary school kids are told that Europeans raped and poisoned Aborigines

Peter Rechniewski
Peter Rechniewski
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter D

That is just nonsense.

Peter D
Peter D
1 year ago

Russ mate, you’ve got Buckley’s of making the Aboriginal elite happy. They are out for blood, have no conscious, and don’t give a stuff about the average Aboriginal

They make the Nazis look second rate on the hate scale. If the had the numbers and weapons, all white Australians would be running for their lives and the average Aboriginals would be dismayed to lose friends and partners.

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
1 year ago

Then there’s the problem of what to do with mixed race people? Should a quantum of reparations be paid according to ‘how much’ slave heritage one has, do we go back to quadroons and octoroons?

In Australia we’re facing a referendum to change the Constitution to recognise Aboriginal people as distinct from the rest, as the start to going down a path to treaties, reparations etc. Which will be difficult in a very multicultural country. Without a need for constitutional demarcation, the states and federal government all have long established Departments of Aboriginal Affairs, which spend a lot of money on specifically Aboriginal people – trying to raise up the most disadvantaged. This seems a better way to go.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
1 year ago

Interestingly, the peaceful protests of 2020 about racism were so overwhelmingly peaceful that cities are to pay out ‘ $80m to people injured in 2020 racial justice protests.

Apo State
Apo State
1 year ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

I know, it beggars belief.

Apo State
Apo State
1 year ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

I know, it beggars belief.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
1 year ago

Interestingly, the peaceful protests of 2020 about racism were so overwhelmingly peaceful that cities are to pay out ‘ $80m to people injured in 2020 racial justice protests.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

Reparations are not going to happen – it’s a carrot that some Democrats dangle to get votes, safe in the knowledge that it’ll never actually happen, which they can blame the opposition for. A cynical play, and one that carries a high chance of some sort of backlash.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

That has been their strategy for all issues that are impossible to implement, such as saving the planet, equal outcomes, ending poverty, social justice and ending hunger.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

That has been their strategy for all issues that are impossible to implement, such as saving the planet, equal outcomes, ending poverty, social justice and ending hunger.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

Reparations are not going to happen – it’s a carrot that some Democrats dangle to get votes, safe in the knowledge that it’ll never actually happen, which they can blame the opposition for. A cynical play, and one that carries a high chance of some sort of backlash.

rob drummond
rob drummond
1 year ago

The smell of ‘free money’ is at the root of all this. The Victimhood that is clung onto by many people – who were never slaves – knows no bounds.

The greatest myth of all is that its just Black People who were slaves. The Indigenous people of England – do they have a claim against The Danes/Norwegians/Sweds etc.,? – what about enslaved ”English” in Roman England? Do they have a claim too?
For thousands of years Africans captured and sold slaves to each other – long before any of them heard about ‘Europe’. Do Africans have a claim agianst those African slave traders?

When the European financial bonanza came along, African slave traders happily cashed in by selling their own countrymen to The Europeans.

Can both cuplability and victimhood be passed down the generations? Of course not – I am sure my ancestors killed people in the past (long before written records) and I dont expect to be held account for their crimes.

Its madness.

Last edited 1 year ago by rob drummond
Yana Way
Yana Way
1 year ago
Reply to  rob drummond

And what about the fact that half of Americans are descended from immigrants who arrived after the slave trade ended? Why would they owe a dime?

Mick Davis
Mick Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  rob drummond

Well said. My direct ancestor was press-ganged into Nelson’s navy in 1805 kept on board until 1814 including Trafalgar. Where do you draw the line? Do you think I should ask for a few bob?

Yana Way
Yana Way
1 year ago
Reply to  rob drummond

And what about the fact that half of Americans are descended from immigrants who arrived after the slave trade ended? Why would they owe a dime?

Mick Davis
Mick Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  rob drummond

Well said. My direct ancestor was press-ganged into Nelson’s navy in 1805 kept on board until 1814 including Trafalgar. Where do you draw the line? Do you think I should ask for a few bob?

rob drummond
rob drummond
1 year ago

The smell of ‘free money’ is at the root of all this. The Victimhood that is clung onto by many people – who were never slaves – knows no bounds.

The greatest myth of all is that its just Black People who were slaves. The Indigenous people of England – do they have a claim against The Danes/Norwegians/Sweds etc.,? – what about enslaved ”English” in Roman England? Do they have a claim too?
For thousands of years Africans captured and sold slaves to each other – long before any of them heard about ‘Europe’. Do Africans have a claim agianst those African slave traders?

When the European financial bonanza came along, African slave traders happily cashed in by selling their own countrymen to The Europeans.

Can both cuplability and victimhood be passed down the generations? Of course not – I am sure my ancestors killed people in the past (long before written records) and I dont expect to be held account for their crimes.

Its madness.

Last edited 1 year ago by rob drummond
Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
1 year ago

When they get the payment, they can give it back to us for making their lives better than it would have been in Africa.

James Stangl
James Stangl
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

The feds and states like CA would undoubtedly assess a hefty “processing fee,” or windfall profits tax!

James Stangl
James Stangl
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

The feds and states like CA would undoubtedly assess a hefty “processing fee,” or windfall profits tax!

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
1 year ago

When they get the payment, they can give it back to us for making their lives better than it would have been in Africa.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
1 year ago

‘Its recommendations echoed those of California’s state-approved Slavery Reparations Task Force, which this month proposed that $1 million should be paid to each applicant.’

Obviously , this would only restore parity with white people , who all have 1 million dollars in wealth.

Black people too would all now have one million dollars in wealth , if not for racism, slavery and redlining.

Apo State
Apo State
1 year ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

I suspect that the vast majority of those who collected the $1m would be broke within a few years. Then they’d be back for more
 I don’t know who said this, but they posited that if you took all the money in the USA today, split it equally among the adults, within five years or so, things would be back pretty much the way they were.

Peter D
Peter D
1 year ago
Reply to  Apo State

I don’t doubt this for a second. I would say in order to be fair and do the reparations properly and justly for all the slave descendants, protections should be put in place to keep them safe from white people praying on their new found wealth.
My proposition is for all slave descendants, they receive USD$1,000,000 plus a plane ticket back to Africa and a lifelong ban from entering Western Countries. This way Westerners cannot take advantage of these people in their grief. Probably extend the ban to their kids just to be safe. Maybe even go so far as to extend the ban for all of their descendants for the next 400 years as a precaution. White America has really treated them badly you know.
Of course this is optional, but the condition for not taking the money is to leave the whole racism thing is left behind and everyone can just get on with their lives.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Apo State

It would be a big boost for the drugs and vulgar car, baseball cap, and training shoe industries….

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Apo State

Well, certainly, if you didn’t bother to change the tax code, things would definitely revert to the norm we know now. But in the 50s and 60s, wealth inequity in the US was much less, as we all know, because the top tax bracket took a whopping 90-something %. So, some wealth redistribution, coupled with a major tax code revision, might change the picture of wealth distribution in a significant way. But we’ll never know that, because we don’t have the political will to effect those changes.

Peter D
Peter D
1 year ago
Reply to  Apo State

I don’t doubt this for a second. I would say in order to be fair and do the reparations properly and justly for all the slave descendants, protections should be put in place to keep them safe from white people praying on their new found wealth.
My proposition is for all slave descendants, they receive USD$1,000,000 plus a plane ticket back to Africa and a lifelong ban from entering Western Countries. This way Westerners cannot take advantage of these people in their grief. Probably extend the ban to their kids just to be safe. Maybe even go so far as to extend the ban for all of their descendants for the next 400 years as a precaution. White America has really treated them badly you know.
Of course this is optional, but the condition for not taking the money is to leave the whole racism thing is left behind and everyone can just get on with their lives.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Apo State

It would be a big boost for the drugs and vulgar car, baseball cap, and training shoe industries….

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Apo State

Well, certainly, if you didn’t bother to change the tax code, things would definitely revert to the norm we know now. But in the 50s and 60s, wealth inequity in the US was much less, as we all know, because the top tax bracket took a whopping 90-something %. So, some wealth redistribution, coupled with a major tax code revision, might change the picture of wealth distribution in a significant way. But we’ll never know that, because we don’t have the political will to effect those changes.

Apo State
Apo State
1 year ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

I suspect that the vast majority of those who collected the $1m would be broke within a few years. Then they’d be back for more
 I don’t know who said this, but they posited that if you took all the money in the USA today, split it equally among the adults, within five years or so, things would be back pretty much the way they were.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
1 year ago

‘Its recommendations echoed those of California’s state-approved Slavery Reparations Task Force, which this month proposed that $1 million should be paid to each applicant.’

Obviously , this would only restore parity with white people , who all have 1 million dollars in wealth.

Black people too would all now have one million dollars in wealth , if not for racism, slavery and redlining.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Why didn’t Africa colonise Europe and turn Europeans into slaves so as to build their industrial empire?… and where is Africa’s economic, financial, commercial, industrial, cultural, scientific advance since those days?

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago

Well, the Africans did take European slaves and that Barbary slave trade lasted a lot longer than
the transatlantic slave trade.
Britain outlawed slavery and enforced the ban
with the powerul navy, losing several thousand
naval officers and men.
I suppose this doesn’t fit the current narrative
that is brainwashing children to think white people are evil.

Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Siege of Algiers, one of my ancestors commanded a ship in that campaign.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

That’s impressive.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

By chance, do you know the name of the ship? I just ask because I’m interested in all things naval.

William Loughran
William Loughran
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

Was this the British attack of of August 1816 that utterly leveled Algiers? It was commanded by the Vice Admiral of the Mediterranean fleet, Sir Edward Pellow. His fleet consisted of 18 men-of-war vessels, some armed with more than 100 big guns. His flag ship was the Queen Charlotte.
If you interested in this, and in the true story of a young English sailor captured and sold into slavery in Morocco in 1715, read Giles Milton’s White Gold. It has a lot of detail on the workings of the North African slave taking of Europeans from about 1500 AD until the British ended it. The estimate given is about 1 million people taken into slavery in that time span from as far away as Iceland and the Baltic.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

That’s impressive.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

By chance, do you know the name of the ship? I just ask because I’m interested in all things naval.

William Loughran
William Loughran
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

Was this the British attack of of August 1816 that utterly leveled Algiers? It was commanded by the Vice Admiral of the Mediterranean fleet, Sir Edward Pellow. His fleet consisted of 18 men-of-war vessels, some armed with more than 100 big guns. His flag ship was the Queen Charlotte.
If you interested in this, and in the true story of a young English sailor captured and sold into slavery in Morocco in 1715, read Giles Milton’s White Gold. It has a lot of detail on the workings of the North African slave taking of Europeans from about 1500 AD until the British ended it. The estimate given is about 1 million people taken into slavery in that time span from as far away as Iceland and the Baltic.

Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Siege of Algiers, one of my ancestors commanded a ship in that campaign.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago

Well, the Africans did take European slaves and that Barbary slave trade lasted a lot longer than
the transatlantic slave trade.
Britain outlawed slavery and enforced the ban
with the powerul navy, losing several thousand
naval officers and men.
I suppose this doesn’t fit the current narrative
that is brainwashing children to think white people are evil.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Why didn’t Africa colonise Europe and turn Europeans into slaves so as to build their industrial empire?… and where is Africa’s economic, financial, commercial, industrial, cultural, scientific advance since those days?

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

It’s almost impossible to believe that anybody could take this seriously.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

It’s almost impossible to believe that anybody could take this seriously.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago

Anyone who believes “reparations” will satisfy the perennial complainers and professional race-hucksters is deluded; they will never shut up. But what is worse, neither they nor their gullible “progressive” advocates seem to have drawn any lessons from the group that’s been drawing “reparations” for multiple generations: the Indian tribes, or ‘native Americans’, or whatever their latest politically correct description is. The atmosphere on their “reservations” is palpably depressing, and no wonder: throwing money at people does nothing for their self-esteem. It’s why the late historian Paul Johnson concluded that the best solution for minorities was to completely integrate: forget about all the gifts and grifts and ancient resentments, and work for a living.

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

This argument can be used against empowering women .

Yana Way
Yana Way
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark M Breza

How so? If women are getting handouts for being women, no one told me. LOL.

Yana Way
Yana Way
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark M Breza

How so? If women are getting handouts for being women, no one told me. LOL.

Yana Way
Yana Way
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

Of course, it is not exactly comparable. The Reservation system is problematic. It forces Native Americans to choose between assimilating and having a career and staying on the Reservation and maintaining their identity. That should not be the choice.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

The reservation system was imposed on Native Americans after the government broke treaty after treaty after treaty after treaty. You make it sound like some gift bestowed on them, when it was a punishment imposed on them for refusing to cede their land rights voluntarily. So it’s not a big wonder that they were given desolate land that doesn’t generate bountiful harvests. Pretty depressing, for sure.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nona Yubiz
Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

This argument can be used against empowering women .

Yana Way
Yana Way
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

Of course, it is not exactly comparable. The Reservation system is problematic. It forces Native Americans to choose between assimilating and having a career and staying on the Reservation and maintaining their identity. That should not be the choice.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

The reservation system was imposed on Native Americans after the government broke treaty after treaty after treaty after treaty. You make it sound like some gift bestowed on them, when it was a punishment imposed on them for refusing to cede their land rights voluntarily. So it’s not a big wonder that they were given desolate land that doesn’t generate bountiful harvests. Pretty depressing, for sure.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nona Yubiz
Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago

Anyone who believes “reparations” will satisfy the perennial complainers and professional race-hucksters is deluded; they will never shut up. But what is worse, neither they nor their gullible “progressive” advocates seem to have drawn any lessons from the group that’s been drawing “reparations” for multiple generations: the Indian tribes, or ‘native Americans’, or whatever their latest politically correct description is. The atmosphere on their “reservations” is palpably depressing, and no wonder: throwing money at people does nothing for their self-esteem. It’s why the late historian Paul Johnson concluded that the best solution for minorities was to completely integrate: forget about all the gifts and grifts and ancient resentments, and work for a living.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

You’re asking American blacks to take on ‘personal responsibility’. Good luck with that. Don’t you know, everything is your fault.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

You’re asking American blacks to take on ‘personal responsibility’. Good luck with that. Don’t you know, everything is your fault.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

Point of clarification: Cori Bush is a congresswoman, not a congressman.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

Point of clarification: Cori Bush is a congresswoman, not a congressman.

Mike Mclaughlin
Mike Mclaughlin
1 year ago

Cori Bush is from Missouri.

John Francis
John Francis
1 year ago

A ridiculous error from an academic. Montana and Missouri are polar opposites culturally.

Cheryl Benard
Cheryl Benard
1 year ago
Reply to  John Francis

Yes, sorry, we’ve fixed it. That was sloppy. MO vs. MT, slipped by us somehow but now corrected.

Cheryl Benard
Cheryl Benard
1 year ago
Reply to  John Francis

Yes, sorry, we’ve fixed it. That was sloppy. MO vs. MT, slipped by us somehow but now corrected.

John Francis
John Francis
1 year ago

A ridiculous error from an academic. Montana and Missouri are polar opposites culturally.

Mike Mclaughlin
Mike Mclaughlin
1 year ago

Cori Bush is from Missouri.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

I’m all for better history and more appreciation that the Atlantic slave trade and N American slavery especially was built and sustained on a racial theory unlike antecedents that then further scarred the psychology of the US for generations. However we should not forget either the massive trade that went East and has had no reckoning.
V struck by Coleman Hughes testimony couple years back to House Judiciary cmtee. Worth looking up. He’s not in favour and agrees with the point that elements of CRT remove ‘agency’ from people and that’s disabling. At same time I think it’s he who asked a question – would we though agree to reparations/compensation to living victims of Jim Crow? Now that I think is a more persuasive argument, albeit still big practical problems.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

I’m all for better history and more appreciation that the Atlantic slave trade and N American slavery especially was built and sustained on a racial theory unlike antecedents that then further scarred the psychology of the US for generations. However we should not forget either the massive trade that went East and has had no reckoning.
V struck by Coleman Hughes testimony couple years back to House Judiciary cmtee. Worth looking up. He’s not in favour and agrees with the point that elements of CRT remove ‘agency’ from people and that’s disabling. At same time I think it’s he who asked a question – would we though agree to reparations/compensation to living victims of Jim Crow? Now that I think is a more persuasive argument, albeit still big practical problems.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
1 year ago

> … along with people who are not their descendants but who belong to the same racial group

Interesting is it not? Race is at one and the same time, both a social construction, an illusion, a lie, a System of Oppression, a fantasy — and the most fundamental, unchangeable, hard fact of one’s existence. If he but wanted to, whitey could snap his fingers and deconstruct race into nothingness … but not until reparations are paid, please.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
1 year ago

> … along with people who are not their descendants but who belong to the same racial group

Interesting is it not? Race is at one and the same time, both a social construction, an illusion, a lie, a System of Oppression, a fantasy — and the most fundamental, unchangeable, hard fact of one’s existence. If he but wanted to, whitey could snap his fingers and deconstruct race into nothingness … but not until reparations are paid, please.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
1 year ago

In the US, both liberals and progressives have only the Democratic Party to (supposedly) represent their interests.
What needs to be understood is that the Party has one singular focus: shooting themselves in the foot. The topic of reparations is guaranteed to be political suicide and will generate vast amounts of hot air, but…
Fear not! It’s close to certain that nothing will come of their efforts. Because the purpose of all this foot-shooting is to be sure that nothing either liberal or progressive actually happens. And they’ve been very successful; nothing has happened since the 1970’s Clean Air/Clean Water Acts.
You can take my word for it. I’ve been voting for them for almost 50 years.

Last edited 1 year ago by laurence scaduto
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago

I don’t know about nothing. Talk to any business owner or entrepreneur about the strangling regulations they encounter daily, whereby “weasel faced” bureaucrats make their lives miserable with minuscule and completely insignificant rules and regulations that would frustrate the Dali Lama.

Yana Way
Yana Way
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

True, but very few of the regulations actually causes anything progressive to happen. That is the point. The Dems are busy taking money and creating nothing that helps anyone.

Yana Way
Yana Way
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

True, but very few of the regulations actually causes anything progressive to happen. That is the point. The Dems are busy taking money and creating nothing that helps anyone.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago

I don’t know about nothing. Talk to any business owner or entrepreneur about the strangling regulations they encounter daily, whereby “weasel faced” bureaucrats make their lives miserable with minuscule and completely insignificant rules and regulations that would frustrate the Dali Lama.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
1 year ago

In the US, both liberals and progressives have only the Democratic Party to (supposedly) represent their interests.
What needs to be understood is that the Party has one singular focus: shooting themselves in the foot. The topic of reparations is guaranteed to be political suicide and will generate vast amounts of hot air, but…
Fear not! It’s close to certain that nothing will come of their efforts. Because the purpose of all this foot-shooting is to be sure that nothing either liberal or progressive actually happens. And they’ve been very successful; nothing has happened since the 1970’s Clean Air/Clean Water Acts.
You can take my word for it. I’ve been voting for them for almost 50 years.

Last edited 1 year ago by laurence scaduto
Alan Gore
Alan Gore
1 year ago

If I were to get carjacked in California, can I offset the costs against my share of the reparations?

Yana Way
Yana Way
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Gore

No, it is your fault you got carjacked. The true victims are the carjackers. You clearly do not watch enough CNN.

Yana Way
Yana Way
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Gore

No, it is your fault you got carjacked. The true victims are the carjackers. You clearly do not watch enough CNN.

Alan Gore
Alan Gore
1 year ago

If I were to get carjacked in California, can I offset the costs against my share of the reparations?

Esther Barna
Esther Barna
1 year ago

From a story written in the DCentric blog in 2010:

“I was meeting up with some old buddies of mine from undergrad, couple of them went to law school, one of them went to Yale law school. He’s black. And he kept, talking, talking about slavery. Wouldn’t stop. Slavery, slavery, slavery. Finally, one of our friends looks at him and says, ‘Frederick*, I never owned any slaves and you never picked any cotton. Move on.”

Esther Barna
Esther Barna
1 year ago

From a story written in the DCentric blog in 2010:

“I was meeting up with some old buddies of mine from undergrad, couple of them went to law school, one of them went to Yale law school. He’s black. And he kept, talking, talking about slavery. Wouldn’t stop. Slavery, slavery, slavery. Finally, one of our friends looks at him and says, ‘Frederick*, I never owned any slaves and you never picked any cotton. Move on.”

Mark Falcoff
Mark Falcoff
1 year ago

The reason reparations is now on the Afro-American (and leftish) agenda is simple. After fifty years of racial preferences (affirmative action) blacks are still way way behind whites and other racial groups, or as the current term has it, “people of color”. There are reasons for this, but slavery is not one of them. I also believe that the Democrats have no intention of enacting reparations, but they want Congress to vote on the matter. But they better hope that the GOP controls both houses at that moment; otherwise they will be forced to vote for it and be held responsible for the results.

Mark Falcoff
Mark Falcoff
1 year ago

The reason reparations is now on the Afro-American (and leftish) agenda is simple. After fifty years of racial preferences (affirmative action) blacks are still way way behind whites and other racial groups, or as the current term has it, “people of color”. There are reasons for this, but slavery is not one of them. I also believe that the Democrats have no intention of enacting reparations, but they want Congress to vote on the matter. But they better hope that the GOP controls both houses at that moment; otherwise they will be forced to vote for it and be held responsible for the results.

Michael Walsh
Michael Walsh
1 year ago

My Irish Catholic ancestors came to this country to escape the genocidal policies of the descendants of the Puritans, only to find themselves drafted -enslaved- to fight another war to enable American Puritan aristos to lord it over the southern Cavaliers. Where’s my reparations? And don’t tell me “white privilege”. My grandfathers and father come out the coal mines covered in the shit.

Mara
Mara
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Walsh

Sounds very similar to my family lineage. Progressives have been making efforts to erase truths about European immigrants, as well as their contributions to building our country’s industries and infrastructure, which progressives claim was done solely by African slaves. And on top of white privilege, I’m now always hearing about this “generational wealth” that all white people supposedly have handed down to them from their wealthy ancestors. I guess mine was lost or spent, because I’ve never seen it.

Mara
Mara
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Walsh

Sounds very similar to my family lineage. Progressives have been making efforts to erase truths about European immigrants, as well as their contributions to building our country’s industries and infrastructure, which progressives claim was done solely by African slaves. And on top of white privilege, I’m now always hearing about this “generational wealth” that all white people supposedly have handed down to them from their wealthy ancestors. I guess mine was lost or spent, because I’ve never seen it.

Michael Walsh
Michael Walsh
1 year ago

My Irish Catholic ancestors came to this country to escape the genocidal policies of the descendants of the Puritans, only to find themselves drafted -enslaved- to fight another war to enable American Puritan aristos to lord it over the southern Cavaliers. Where’s my reparations? And don’t tell me “white privilege”. My grandfathers and father come out the coal mines covered in the shit.

Saul D
Saul D
1 year ago

Since slavery was driven by the rich, my feeling is that it would be more just that, instead of reparations on the whole population, California should give the wronged community the right to tax geographic areas where rich people live in recompense. Hollywood and Beverley Hills, for instance.

rob drummond
rob drummond
1 year ago
Reply to  Saul D

How about Monteseto?

Peter D
Peter D
1 year ago
Reply to  Saul D

Montecito. Megan can do some Netflix, podcasts, and a few books that no one will take notice of

rob drummond
rob drummond
1 year ago
Reply to  Saul D

How about Monteseto?

Peter D
Peter D
1 year ago
Reply to  Saul D

Montecito. Megan can do some Netflix, podcasts, and a few books that no one will take notice of

Saul D
Saul D
1 year ago

Since slavery was driven by the rich, my feeling is that it would be more just that, instead of reparations on the whole population, California should give the wronged community the right to tax geographic areas where rich people live in recompense. Hollywood and Beverley Hills, for instance.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago

Great piece. To characterise the absurd, I recall in the fraught early 1990s, a time of race riots and heightened racial animosity, waiting in a line at a New York government service office to pay a parking fine, all of us grumbling a little. An African American behind me trumped all the complaints when he shot out: “What I wanna know is, where’s my twenty acres and a mule!” Not so much use on I-95 or the BQE, I thought. But this has been a long time on slow-cooker.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago

Great piece. To characterise the absurd, I recall in the fraught early 1990s, a time of race riots and heightened racial animosity, waiting in a line at a New York government service office to pay a parking fine, all of us grumbling a little. An African American behind me trumped all the complaints when he shot out: “What I wanna know is, where’s my twenty acres and a mule!” Not so much use on I-95 or the BQE, I thought. But this has been a long time on slow-cooker.

Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
1 year ago

Alas, the current political concept of paying reparations in order to “repair” and improve racial relations, is similar to paying off a blackmailer who retains the originals and will be back for more.
Even in a super progressive area that was willing to pay incredible amounts, no reparations will ever be “enough”.
Consider even San Franciso’s proposed reparations of $5 million per person (not per family) for those age 18+ who have lived in San Francisco for at least 10 years during their lifetime – that would not be then end of it.
First off, imagine all the people who were under 18 (or not yet born) or who had lived in SF less than 10 years on payout day – are they not going to be incredibly resentful to still need to earn a living while their neighbors are living on easy street?
If, like many lottery winners, recipients of US, California, or San Francisco reparations wound up being broke again in a few years – are they not going to blame that trajectory on systemic racism, and demand more?
Some of the academics supporting reparations had in mind things like free education & training, down payments, business seed money, etc. But the overwhelming message they get from the masses of potential recipients is “CUT THE CHECK” – focusing on cash transfers. And so their proposals reflect that.
The difference in median net worth between Black and white families in the US is around $120k. Some of that reflects different income, some reflects the proportion of one and two earner families, some reflects inherited wealth, some reflects age (the Black median age is younger), some reflects different spending patterns, some reflects Black homeowners getting less money when selling largely to other Black buyers, etc.
The California reparations committee is suggesting up to $1.2 million per person. So for example, a family of 2 could double that. San Francisco proposes $5 million per adult. So these cash transfers, if passed to meet the demand, would be 10-100 times the median family weath gap (10 times for a single person family getting only the Calif maximum, 100 times for a two person family in San Francisco getting both state and city reparations in full)
Needless to say, that will not pass – but the officially appointed single-stakeholder panels publish such calculations with a straight face, and frame it as a bargain compared to the incalculable real harm done. (“Y’all should be glad we only want what we are owed, and not revenge!”)
So if, say, California gave every Black adult something like $60K (fully closing the median wealth gap for a family with two adults), that would be treated as a terrible insult and at most a tiny down payment on the true debt owed (while cashing the check) – and the resentment for not being “paid in full” would last for generations of pressure to keep disbursing more and more. It would add to, rather than subtract from, the distrust, hostility, anger, and entitlement polluting relations.
Here in California, a ballot measure to reinstate racial preferences in the state Universities failed a few years ago; rejected with a lot of support from the largest population group in the state (Latinos), despite their being potential beneficiaries of it. Reparations for Blacks only (but paid for by everybody else) would not likely fare well among Latino voters (nor whites nor Asians, the next largest population groups; Blacks comprise only 5% of the population of CA), and the Democrats know that. So it’s a hot potato issue for the Dems. They need to propitiate 5% of the population without alienating 95%. It’s going to be interesting.
It’s amazing how much power white guilt gives Black folks in California. When a Black senator (Kamela Harris) was replaced by a Latino man (ie: from the largest population group in CA), many Black politicians and activists were outraged, believing their 5% of the population was entitled in perpetuity to at least one of the two senators. So now they are pressing for the other position to be filled by a Black person (preferably female) when Feinstein resigns.
I would be open to discussions of some form of rational “reparations” in a form that incentivized increased ability to earn one’s own way without subsidy in the future; as you might guess, I do not support payments which are more likely to foster permanence dependence on outside subsidy instead.

Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
1 year ago

Alas, the current political concept of paying reparations in order to “repair” and improve racial relations, is similar to paying off a blackmailer who retains the originals and will be back for more.
Even in a super progressive area that was willing to pay incredible amounts, no reparations will ever be “enough”.
Consider even San Franciso’s proposed reparations of $5 million per person (not per family) for those age 18+ who have lived in San Francisco for at least 10 years during their lifetime – that would not be then end of it.
First off, imagine all the people who were under 18 (or not yet born) or who had lived in SF less than 10 years on payout day – are they not going to be incredibly resentful to still need to earn a living while their neighbors are living on easy street?
If, like many lottery winners, recipients of US, California, or San Francisco reparations wound up being broke again in a few years – are they not going to blame that trajectory on systemic racism, and demand more?
Some of the academics supporting reparations had in mind things like free education & training, down payments, business seed money, etc. But the overwhelming message they get from the masses of potential recipients is “CUT THE CHECK” – focusing on cash transfers. And so their proposals reflect that.
The difference in median net worth between Black and white families in the US is around $120k. Some of that reflects different income, some reflects the proportion of one and two earner families, some reflects inherited wealth, some reflects age (the Black median age is younger), some reflects different spending patterns, some reflects Black homeowners getting less money when selling largely to other Black buyers, etc.
The California reparations committee is suggesting up to $1.2 million per person. So for example, a family of 2 could double that. San Francisco proposes $5 million per adult. So these cash transfers, if passed to meet the demand, would be 10-100 times the median family weath gap (10 times for a single person family getting only the Calif maximum, 100 times for a two person family in San Francisco getting both state and city reparations in full)
Needless to say, that will not pass – but the officially appointed single-stakeholder panels publish such calculations with a straight face, and frame it as a bargain compared to the incalculable real harm done. (“Y’all should be glad we only want what we are owed, and not revenge!”)
So if, say, California gave every Black adult something like $60K (fully closing the median wealth gap for a family with two adults), that would be treated as a terrible insult and at most a tiny down payment on the true debt owed (while cashing the check) – and the resentment for not being “paid in full” would last for generations of pressure to keep disbursing more and more. It would add to, rather than subtract from, the distrust, hostility, anger, and entitlement polluting relations.
Here in California, a ballot measure to reinstate racial preferences in the state Universities failed a few years ago; rejected with a lot of support from the largest population group in the state (Latinos), despite their being potential beneficiaries of it. Reparations for Blacks only (but paid for by everybody else) would not likely fare well among Latino voters (nor whites nor Asians, the next largest population groups; Blacks comprise only 5% of the population of CA), and the Democrats know that. So it’s a hot potato issue for the Dems. They need to propitiate 5% of the population without alienating 95%. It’s going to be interesting.
It’s amazing how much power white guilt gives Black folks in California. When a Black senator (Kamela Harris) was replaced by a Latino man (ie: from the largest population group in CA), many Black politicians and activists were outraged, believing their 5% of the population was entitled in perpetuity to at least one of the two senators. So now they are pressing for the other position to be filled by a Black person (preferably female) when Feinstein resigns.
I would be open to discussions of some form of rational “reparations” in a form that incentivized increased ability to earn one’s own way without subsidy in the future; as you might guess, I do not support payments which are more likely to foster permanence dependence on outside subsidy instead.

leculdesac suburbia
leculdesac suburbia
1 year ago

Reparations w/o leveraging work/education requirements for non-disabled, non-elderly would harm low-income Black communities even more. Beyond the obvious intermediate term skyrocketing inflation that would follow, those Black Americans raised w/o fathers and/or a strong work ethic (the current causes of the very conditions the reparations are supposed to ameliorate) would spend the money like lottery-winners. Can you imagine what spring break intersection naked twerkers and thug-culture celebrators (who are supposedly “college” students) would do w/ a cool tax free $450k each?

What I _would_ support, which is somewhat in place already but w/o the publicity or full expansion it requires to work, would be compensating Black Americans (after 600% over poverty means-testing) for education costs that were completed and/or led to employment. And I particularly want to encourage them to enroll in two year fully paid vocational degree programs and most of all, offer benchmark-monitored paid vocational internships to ensure that the degrees led directly into full-time employment.

Pegging reparations to “education” doesn’t have to stop w/ younger Black Americans either. Poor older people, especially mothers and grandmothers, ought to have some compensation but pegging it to some kind of enrichment program, which would have to be seriously monitored, not superficially so–things like child psychology, urban homsteading, entrepeneurship, finance & money management, health management, or first aid. Since I think that would become full of fraudsters instead of serious program evaluators, this would probably never work.

I also wish reparations would take the form of free childcare, provided in highly secure locations in the middle of low-income areas, which would first provide plenty of jobs to give Black men who want public respect for their masculinity. AND, all of those semi-retired middle-aged and older white adults who want to help Black people, whether they’re woke or more traditional & church-based, would travel to the highly secure centers to inculcate, shudder, their education and values into the children. No doubt this kind of literal diversity would influence them too–but given the primacy of psychological literacy (in the Walter Ong “technology of literacy” sense of the word) in the white community and the secondary orality in low-income Black, older highly engaged white empty nester moms could pour all of their obsessive achievement-oriented engagement on a handful of young Black kids 5-10 hours a week. If their dads are absent and their moms are raising 4 others and/or working full-time, that’s time those kids will benefit from the type of constant-educational-parenting that most middle and upper class white kids get as a matter of course.

THIS IMO is what leads to the persistence of lower IQ scores. IQ tests by definition only test the analytical skills that come from a literacy-based culture, in the sense that reality is based on externalized memory, on the deeply analytical structures that are created through “writing.” Secondarily oral cultures–old Scots-Irish, eg, and/or a lot of low-income Black culture–enable great verbal creativity, calling upon ancient human pnenomic structures that seem to preternaturally create poetry (see Black pastors, rap artists). We could write a dissertation on what text/image based social media is doing w/ this in the Black community, but the oral, story-based, memory-based present-ness of lower income, lower educated communities white or Black doesn’t translate well into the type of intelligence that IQ tests measure. I can’t believe the IQ fanatics have never discussed this, but it would also lead to why Jewish culture is so successful in modern life and why disproportionately Asians (with TWO alphabets) seem to grasp STEM concepts so easily and so early in life.

In any case, in a post-racialist world a Repub admin in partnership w/ Black conservatives and guidance from older, particularly female members of the communities themselves, would unapologetically use whatever tools at their disposal to stop the celebration of youth violence, prevent teen pregnancies, and most of all improve early childhood development. Otherwise, everything else is a bandaid.

Throwing $500k checks to 23-year-old Black women who routinely bend over functionally naked at intersections to present their behinds to 4,000 people and fight other women on a hairtrigger, let alone 24-year-old Black men who celebrate gang culture, is throwing oil on the fire.

In sum:

1) Tying the money to not only COMPLETED 2- or 4-year (or more) degrees BUT TO PAID, WELL-MONITORED, JOB INTERNSHIPS, is a sure way to slowly change this dangerous subculture.

2) Providing free child-care by enlisting older empty-nester highly educated semi-retired white moms is a great way to support young parents as well as start to provide these very young kids w/ exposure to a literacy, growth-focused culture.

3) Beyond that, compensating older adults based on their commitment to demonstrated enrichment courses, also rigorously monitored, is a way to seed a greater sense of agency and exposure to ways that are proven to be more effective in raising children and life management.

leculdesac suburbia
leculdesac suburbia
1 year ago

Reparations w/o leveraging work/education requirements for non-disabled, non-elderly would harm low-income Black communities even more. Beyond the obvious intermediate term skyrocketing inflation that would follow, those Black Americans raised w/o fathers and/or a strong work ethic (the current causes of the very conditions the reparations are supposed to ameliorate) would spend the money like lottery-winners. Can you imagine what spring break intersection naked twerkers and thug-culture celebrators (who are supposedly “college” students) would do w/ a cool tax free $450k each?

What I _would_ support, which is somewhat in place already but w/o the publicity or full expansion it requires to work, would be compensating Black Americans (after 600% over poverty means-testing) for education costs that were completed and/or led to employment. And I particularly want to encourage them to enroll in two year fully paid vocational degree programs and most of all, offer benchmark-monitored paid vocational internships to ensure that the degrees led directly into full-time employment.

Pegging reparations to “education” doesn’t have to stop w/ younger Black Americans either. Poor older people, especially mothers and grandmothers, ought to have some compensation but pegging it to some kind of enrichment program, which would have to be seriously monitored, not superficially so–things like child psychology, urban homsteading, entrepeneurship, finance & money management, health management, or first aid. Since I think that would become full of fraudsters instead of serious program evaluators, this would probably never work.

I also wish reparations would take the form of free childcare, provided in highly secure locations in the middle of low-income areas, which would first provide plenty of jobs to give Black men who want public respect for their masculinity. AND, all of those semi-retired middle-aged and older white adults who want to help Black people, whether they’re woke or more traditional & church-based, would travel to the highly secure centers to inculcate, shudder, their education and values into the children. No doubt this kind of literal diversity would influence them too–but given the primacy of psychological literacy (in the Walter Ong “technology of literacy” sense of the word) in the white community and the secondary orality in low-income Black, older highly engaged white empty nester moms could pour all of their obsessive achievement-oriented engagement on a handful of young Black kids 5-10 hours a week. If their dads are absent and their moms are raising 4 others and/or working full-time, that’s time those kids will benefit from the type of constant-educational-parenting that most middle and upper class white kids get as a matter of course.

THIS IMO is what leads to the persistence of lower IQ scores. IQ tests by definition only test the analytical skills that come from a literacy-based culture, in the sense that reality is based on externalized memory, on the deeply analytical structures that are created through “writing.” Secondarily oral cultures–old Scots-Irish, eg, and/or a lot of low-income Black culture–enable great verbal creativity, calling upon ancient human pnenomic structures that seem to preternaturally create poetry (see Black pastors, rap artists). We could write a dissertation on what text/image based social media is doing w/ this in the Black community, but the oral, story-based, memory-based present-ness of lower income, lower educated communities white or Black doesn’t translate well into the type of intelligence that IQ tests measure. I can’t believe the IQ fanatics have never discussed this, but it would also lead to why Jewish culture is so successful in modern life and why disproportionately Asians (with TWO alphabets) seem to grasp STEM concepts so easily and so early in life.

In any case, in a post-racialist world a Repub admin in partnership w/ Black conservatives and guidance from older, particularly female members of the communities themselves, would unapologetically use whatever tools at their disposal to stop the celebration of youth violence, prevent teen pregnancies, and most of all improve early childhood development. Otherwise, everything else is a bandaid.

Throwing $500k checks to 23-year-old Black women who routinely bend over functionally naked at intersections to present their behinds to 4,000 people and fight other women on a hairtrigger, let alone 24-year-old Black men who celebrate gang culture, is throwing oil on the fire.

In sum:

1) Tying the money to not only COMPLETED 2- or 4-year (or more) degrees BUT TO PAID, WELL-MONITORED, JOB INTERNSHIPS, is a sure way to slowly change this dangerous subculture.

2) Providing free child-care by enlisting older empty-nester highly educated semi-retired white moms is a great way to support young parents as well as start to provide these very young kids w/ exposure to a literacy, growth-focused culture.

3) Beyond that, compensating older adults based on their commitment to demonstrated enrichment courses, also rigorously monitored, is a way to seed a greater sense of agency and exposure to ways that are proven to be more effective in raising children and life management.

Alan Kaufman
Alan Kaufman
1 year ago

You left out Jews, the most persecuted minority in history, with grim origins in more than 25 countries, all unwelcoming, all rife with hatred and discrimination. Even survivors of the Nazi horrors, who had their property stolen and suffered unspeakable brutality, received a pittance from Germany, and they were victims, not descendants 3 times removed.
You are correct that, as with so many immigrants, where they came from was vastly worse than what they encountered here. Your focus on Asians neglects the 75 years of suffering by immigrants from 1870-1930 and beyond, where they encountered discrimination no different than Jim Crow laws.
The black plight is the result of their culture every bit as much from discrimination. Reparations in any amount is just another windfall.

Karen Nease
Karen Nease
1 year ago

Since early 1900s blacks and jews were prevented by zoning and property covenants from owning houses in certain neighborhoods all over the country, for the most part, Asians weren’t nearly as discriminated against. So, not a totally good comparison.

A huge disparity for a lot of people of color here in the US is in housing availability, proven under valuation of their properties, along with unfair financing practices, all which act to decrease the possibility of accumulating and passing on generational wealth. “Reparations” could credibly start with reforms to these concerns.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Karen Nease

> … and jews were prevented by zoning and property covenants from owning houses in certain neighborhoods all over the country
Poor me! My dad, a Jew, made merry over restrictive covenants. See, as a builder, he could not be stopped from living in the houses he had just built, he just couldn’t *sell* them to another Jew — but we lived in ‘whites only’ neighborhoods for most of my childhood.
Tears-Of-Oppression? On the contrary, my dad considered it a standing joke. As he pointed out, anti-semitism was whitey’s way of trying to achieve Equity — he couldn’t compete on a level playing field, could he? So he had to give himself Affirmative Action. But, as dad said, it wouldn’t work because Jews are just better people and so they would always float to the top, Equity or no Equity. That’s the thing about whitey, Oppress tho he might, at the end of the day he always lets the cream rise to the top irrespective of race. And that’s why every ambitious ni**er (sorry but it’s the right word here) in the world wants to get IN to the West.

David Renton
David Renton
1 year ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

your father was not the smartest person was he.
Most Jews are white, there is no such thing as the ‘Jewish race or ethnicity’.
Also “couldn’t compete on a level playing field” , tell that to the vast majority of Inventors, Innovators ,cultural giants who weren’t Jewish but White Christians or White non Jewish, even taking into account respective populations.
You seem to dislike the people i.e. non Jewish Whites, that saved those White Jewish people 80 years ago.”
“Jews are just better people and so they would always float to the top”, yes we saw that in WW2, where they basically gave up , didn’t resist and required others to save them.
Where would Jews be today without those Non Jews sacrificing themselves in the millions to save “these better people”
The funny thing is Jews trying to pretend they are not White, amazing you think they are so smart, yet seem to not understand the most fundamental thing about themselves.

Last edited 1 year ago by David Renton
David Renton
David Renton
1 year ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

.

Last edited 1 year ago by David Renton
David Renton
David Renton
1 year ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

your father was not the smartest person was he.
Most Jews are white, there is no such thing as the ‘Jewish race or ethnicity’.
Also “couldn’t compete on a level playing field” , tell that to the vast majority of Inventors, Innovators ,cultural giants who weren’t Jewish but White Christians or White non Jewish, even taking into account respective populations.
You seem to dislike the people i.e. non Jewish Whites, that saved those White Jewish people 80 years ago.”
“Jews are just better people and so they would always float to the top”, yes we saw that in WW2, where they basically gave up , didn’t resist and required others to save them.
Where would Jews be today without those Non Jews sacrificing themselves in the millions to save “these better people”
The funny thing is Jews trying to pretend they are not White, amazing you think they are so smart, yet seem to not understand the most fundamental thing about themselves.

Last edited 1 year ago by David Renton
David Renton
David Renton
1 year ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

.

Last edited 1 year ago by David Renton
Steven Carr
Steven Carr
1 year ago
Reply to  Karen Nease

When did these restrictions end?
It is a good idea to pass on generational wealth. How are Black fathers going to pass on generational wealth to their children?

‘ ….proven under valuation of their properties,’
Why are houses in Baltimore and Detroit so cheap? Why are people paying extra to get houses in areas with good schools?

Julie Coates
Julie Coates
1 year ago
Reply to  Karen Nease

I’m sorry you’ve had a few ‘thumbs down’ about your comment, which seems to me to be bringing a different facet to the conversation and one that most Brits probably don’t understand.
Your views may differ from most of the commentators who don’t agree with repartitions but there’s no need for rudeness.

Last edited 1 year ago by Julie Coates
Steven Carr
Steven Carr
1 year ago
Reply to  Julie Coates

Julie is correct. Most Brits do not understand why Black men in the USA cannot pass on generational wealth to their children.
‘Blacks struggle with 72 percent unwed mothers rate”

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Julie Coates

I began reading this skeptical of reparations, and I found the article compelling and well-written. But the nasty, ignorant and obvious racism in far too many of the comments has me changing my mind again.
The ignorance is the most irritating aspect of it, actually. Americans have nothing on you Brits when it comes to trumpeting whatever your shortcomings might be.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nona Yubiz
Steven Carr
Steven Carr
1 year ago
Reply to  Julie Coates

Julie is correct. Most Brits do not understand why Black men in the USA cannot pass on generational wealth to their children.
‘Blacks struggle with 72 percent unwed mothers rate”

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Julie Coates

I began reading this skeptical of reparations, and I found the article compelling and well-written. But the nasty, ignorant and obvious racism in far too many of the comments has me changing my mind again.
The ignorance is the most irritating aspect of it, actually. Americans have nothing on you Brits when it comes to trumpeting whatever your shortcomings might be.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nona Yubiz
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Karen Nease

You are correct in that most people in the UK probably don’t understand the complexities of US race relations, however, as a general rule giving people a dollop of cash rarely solves problemsI also thought that “affirmative action” was intended to be a way to give people in certain ethic groups a leg-up. Correct me if I’m wrong (as I said we here in the UK don’t know all the ins and outs) are you referring to “red-lining”? If so, I remember reading that this would just as often be used against some groups white people.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Karen Nease

No not really. And how would you compensate the Irish and Italians that in turn were also discriminated against during their first 100 years in the USA as well?? They were kept from jobs and prevented from buying in certain neighborhoods as well….

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Karen Nease

> … and jews were prevented by zoning and property covenants from owning houses in certain neighborhoods all over the country
Poor me! My dad, a Jew, made merry over restrictive covenants. See, as a builder, he could not be stopped from living in the houses he had just built, he just couldn’t *sell* them to another Jew — but we lived in ‘whites only’ neighborhoods for most of my childhood.
Tears-Of-Oppression? On the contrary, my dad considered it a standing joke. As he pointed out, anti-semitism was whitey’s way of trying to achieve Equity — he couldn’t compete on a level playing field, could he? So he had to give himself Affirmative Action. But, as dad said, it wouldn’t work because Jews are just better people and so they would always float to the top, Equity or no Equity. That’s the thing about whitey, Oppress tho he might, at the end of the day he always lets the cream rise to the top irrespective of race. And that’s why every ambitious ni**er (sorry but it’s the right word here) in the world wants to get IN to the West.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
1 year ago
Reply to  Karen Nease

When did these restrictions end?
It is a good idea to pass on generational wealth. How are Black fathers going to pass on generational wealth to their children?

‘ ….proven under valuation of their properties,’
Why are houses in Baltimore and Detroit so cheap? Why are people paying extra to get houses in areas with good schools?

Julie Coates
Julie Coates
1 year ago
Reply to  Karen Nease

I’m sorry you’ve had a few ‘thumbs down’ about your comment, which seems to me to be bringing a different facet to the conversation and one that most Brits probably don’t understand.
Your views may differ from most of the commentators who don’t agree with repartitions but there’s no need for rudeness.

Last edited 1 year ago by Julie Coates
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Karen Nease

You are correct in that most people in the UK probably don’t understand the complexities of US race relations, however, as a general rule giving people a dollop of cash rarely solves problemsI also thought that “affirmative action” was intended to be a way to give people in certain ethic groups a leg-up. Correct me if I’m wrong (as I said we here in the UK don’t know all the ins and outs) are you referring to “red-lining”? If so, I remember reading that this would just as often be used against some groups white people.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Karen Nease

No not really. And how would you compensate the Irish and Italians that in turn were also discriminated against during their first 100 years in the USA as well?? They were kept from jobs and prevented from buying in certain neighborhoods as well….

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Karen Nease
Karen Nease
1 year ago

Since early 1900s blacks and jews were prevented by zoning and property covenants from owning houses in certain neighborhoods all over the country, for the most part, Asians weren’t nearly as discriminated against. So, not a totally good comparison.

A huge disparity for a lot of people of color here in the US is in housing availability, proven under valuation of their properties, along with unfair financing practices, all which act to decrease the possibility of accumulating and passing on generational wealth. “Reparations” could credibly start with reforms to these concerns.

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
1 year ago

Regarding reparations, the idea of which I belive to be ludicrous at best, let’s not forget that up until the end of the revolutionary war and the beginning of the US Republic, the colonies were British and slavery in the colonies proceeded with the blessing of the British Empire. Therefore, shouldn’t Britain be on the hook for part of potential reparations payments as well?

Ian S
Ian S
1 year ago
Reply to  Kent Ausburn

Do you mean Britain should be paid reparations for the losses it incurred in ending slavery? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNUZQNpWZ10

rob drummond
rob drummond
1 year ago
Reply to  Kent Ausburn

In a word “NO!”

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Kent Ausburn

Moreover, the British managed to free black slaves in the Caribbean by floating a $40 million bond (in 1830’s) to compensate the plantation owners for ‘loss of property’ thus preventing a war…the Americans weren’t as clever and ended up losing 500,000 million white lives to free its slaves – a heavy cost indeed.

Ian S
Ian S
1 year ago
Reply to  Kent Ausburn

Do you mean Britain should be paid reparations for the losses it incurred in ending slavery? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNUZQNpWZ10

rob drummond
rob drummond
1 year ago
Reply to  Kent Ausburn

In a word “NO!”

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Kent Ausburn

Moreover, the British managed to free black slaves in the Caribbean by floating a $40 million bond (in 1830’s) to compensate the plantation owners for ‘loss of property’ thus preventing a war…the Americans weren’t as clever and ended up losing 500,000 million white lives to free its slaves – a heavy cost indeed.

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
1 year ago

Regarding reparations, the idea of which I belive to be ludicrous at best, let’s not forget that up until the end of the revolutionary war and the beginning of the US Republic, the colonies were British and slavery in the colonies proceeded with the blessing of the British Empire. Therefore, shouldn’t Britain be on the hook for part of potential reparations payments as well?